Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Time Travel Tuesday

Time Travel Tuesday is an occasional feature at Charlotte's Library. While this is technically alternate realities, it had enough of a time travel feel to include today!

17286818Bishara, Cristin. Relativity
September 10th 2013 by Walker Childrens

Ruby Wright loves science and is not happy that her father remarried and moved her from California and her friend George to Nowheresville, Ohio where she has to put up with stepmother Willow and her evil daughter Kandy. When Ruby investigates an interesting tree with a tragic past, she finds that it is actually a portal to alternate dimensions. Finding her own dimension less than pleasing, she investigates other ways that her life could have been. In several of the realities she meets an older brother, Nick; her mother who died in a car crash when she was four; and various versions of her father, Kandy and Willow. While Ruby would like to think that she could inhabit a different reality, her mother makes her see the error of her ways. But can she get back to her own existence in time?
Strengths: Like Michael Lawrence's A Crack in the Line, this had a convincing explanation for reality splitting. Ruby's confusion and longing are poignant and make choosing a reality heart rending. I know that this would not circulate hugely well in my library, but it may be one that I buy because I love it so. I allow myself one or two of those a year!
Weaknesses: The science got a bit much for me, but since it mentions string theory, maybe we could find a science nonfiction piece so that we could do a Common Core tie in. Understanding the science isn't as important as just believing it. Perhaps in my quest for time travel I need to become more aware of physics.

18222556Lloyd, Natalie. A Snicker of Magic.
February 25th 2014 by Scholastic Press 
E ARC from Netgalley.com

Felicity's mother has a tendency to move every time there is a thunderstorm around a certain date of the month, but she has finally come back to stay with her sister in Midnight Gulch. Felicity and her sister Franny are crammed into the small apartment with Uncle Boone as well, and are apprehensive about starting school. Felicity can see words floating in the air, and has a talent for poetry, but not for talking in front of people. This changes when she becomes friends with Jonah, who works for local ice cream seller Oliver as "the Beedle", who does good deeds around town. Oliver encourages Felicity to sign up to participate in the "Duel", a talent show based on the premise that the founding fathers of the town, the Brothers Threadbare (who are ancestors of Felicity's), had a musical competition years ago. Felicity doesn't want to do the competition, but thinks that her doing so will somehow encourage her mother to stay in town, and will impress Jonah as well. There is a "snicker" (i.e. a little bit) of magic left in the town, most of which is magic-less because of a long ago curse. Felicity and an assortment of the town's residents work through a variety of issues, many time with the help of Blueberry Sunrise ice cream, which helps people remember things.
Strengths: The cover of this made me really want to read this book, and there has been much more call for magical realism in books lately.
Weaknesses: This was both quirky and Southern, two things which I never like, so I am not the best judge. Also, the introduction by the editor tried a little too hard to tell me that I would like this book. It had its moments, but was very slow paced and a bit short on plot. Most of the story was concerned with bringing in many town members and telling their stories. The final bit that made me cringe was the use of language: spindiddly, "what the hayseed", and then the poetic words that Felicity saw in the air. There will be a lot of readers who like this one (and who also like books like Tangle of Knots and Savvy), but I am not one of those readers.


Natalie Aguirre said...

Sorry you didn't enjoy A Snicker of Magic more. I really enjoyed it. I loved the small town Southern town and thought the characters were really well-developed.

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